Stamp duty receipts just 6% lower in February

Posted on Monday, March 22, 2021

Stamp duty receipts were just 6% lower last month compared to a year ago, according to Coventry Building Society analysis of HMRC tax data.

Receipts from the tax hit £775m in February, just £49m less than February 2020, despite chancellor Rishi Sunak introducing relief from the duty on homes under £500,000 in England last July.

The move provided a boost to the housing market that had almost ground to a halt after lockdown restrictions were introduced last March.

The Treasury is now on course to recoup £8.2bn in Stamp Duty this tax year, adds Coventry Building Society.

Coventry Building Society head of intermediary relationships Jonathan Stinton says: “The stamp duty holiday has really helped to fuel the market over the past few months. However, the average home buyer isn’t going to have contributed one penny in stamp duty.

“These numbers are a sign of a healthy market across the board, where higher value homes, second homes and rental properties are also exchanging hands.”

The HMRC report says: “Overall receipts from April 2020 to February 2021 are £3.2bn lower than the same period a year earlier mainly due to a fall in property sales and the market uncertainties surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.”

In the Budget earlier this month, the current stamp duty holiday up to a threshold of £500,000 was extended from the end of March to the end of June.

The chancellor added that the nil rate band for stamp duty would subsequently drop to £250,000 until the end of September, returning to the standard cut-off rate of £125,000 from 1 October.

Another HMRC study released last month adds that stamp duty receipts in the final quarter of last year were 47% higher than the previous quarter, but 16% lower than the fourth quarter of 2019.

It said: “The change in receipts will have mainly been impacted by the introduction of the stamp duty holiday.”


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